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Looking for Richard (Widescreen Edition) [VHS] [1996] [1997]


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Product details

  • Actors: Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, Frederic Kimball, Penelope Allen
  • Directors: Al Pacino
  • Writers: Al Pacino, Frederic Kimball, William Shakespeare
  • Producers: Al Pacino, James Bulleit, Michael Hadge, William Teitler
  • Language: English
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Fox
  • VHS Release Date: 1 Oct 1999
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CW3A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 245,645 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

A chronicle of Al Pacino's attempts to film Shakespeare's 'Richard III', narrated by the director and star, as he travels to the Globe Theatre in England and visits the Bard's birthplace of Stratford-Upon-Avon. Actors such as Kenneth Branagh and Sir John Gielgud are interviewed to provide insights into the text, while scenes from the play are performed by Pacino and fellow American actors in various locations.

From Amazon.co.uk

Looking for Richard, a strange and charming documentary by Al Pacino in which he also stars, is an exploration of several topics: Shakespeare and his humpbacked villain, the impulse to act, the way actors work--and Pacino's single-minded effort to make the Bard accessible to all audiences and not just the effete few. Over the course of the film, Pacino alternately discusses the role and the text, roams Manhattan talking about Shakespeare with everyone from scholars to street people and re-creates scenes from the play in a production staged at the Cloisters, an evocative castle-like museum on the north end of Manhattan. He assembles a cast that includes Kevin Spacey, Winona Ryder, Estelle Parsons and Alec Baldwin to perform the scenes, slipping back and forth between text and discussion of the play in a way that makes Shakespeare comprehensible and fascinating to viewers who know or care nothing about his writing. --Marshall Fine, Amazon.com

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brawny Withed on 1 July 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a really enjoyable documentary/play where Al Pacino is attempting to deconstruct the works of Shakespeare to appeal to American audiences who as the films voxpops show think of Shakespeare as boring or irrelevant.

Pacino and a few othe ractors including Kevin Spacey and Winona Ryder are rehearsing for a production of Richard III and act out some of the major scens in the play and then analyses what is happening and where the plot is leading.

The film also employs some interesting interviews with Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, James Earl Jones and John Gielgud.

Ithink this would be an excellent film to show students who are studying Shakespeare in school as the film shows that the works of Shakespeare aren't old, stuffy relics of a bygone era.
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63 of 69 people found the following review helpful By LCMC on 15 Dec 2004
Format: DVD
Al goes and does an in depth analysis of Richard 3rd (III), for example the opening sequence (about 15 minutes), is about the first line in the play, and by god I've never been so interested.
The whole film is an in depth view not only of the play but the way this (amazing) actor approaches the subject matter, to get inside the characters head by not just looking at the historical context of the play, but how a human being would react.
And as Pacino says this play has murder, incest, war, love, betrayal, witches everything, so it has allot to offer the actors and viewers.
I must admit, if you buy this film, it may take you ages to get around to watching it (it's not specifically action love or comedy so you'll never know when to watch it). But one day you'll sit down put this on, and remember it for the rest of your life.
What other sign is there for a great film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mystery Martian on 1 Aug 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This DVD was a dream for me personally - Al Pacino, one of my Top 3 favourite actors, covering the subject of William Shakespeare, my favourite author. It was also great because although I've read a lot of Shakespeare, I didn't know this particular play too well, so I came out a little more educated than before as well as more than a little entertained.
Thanks Al for a class act.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gadfly on 21 Feb 2010
Format: DVD
I am currently reading Richard III and would say that this film is an absolute must for anyone who is studying the play. Al Pacino's portrayal of Richard III is the greatest that I know of on film, far superior I think to Olivier's very dated and mannered performance and even Ron Cook's better interpretation in the BBC Shakespeare version. The film presents a stellar cast of actors and academics taking an in-depth look at the play, its complexities and various layers of meaning. The film really brings Shakespeare's great play alive, presenting a very fresh and relevant reading for our own times. Pacino set out in this film to show how Shakespeare and this play in particular is relevant to a comtemporary lay audience who perhaps had little or no experience of Shakespeare's work and I think he succeeds admirably. An enthralling and moving account of one of Shakespeare's great plays. HIghly recommended.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By S J Buck TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Aug 2007
Format: DVD
First off lets be clear, this is a documentary about Al Pacino making a version of Richard III. As someone who has very minimal knowledge of Shakespeare I found this to be very interesting and it made me want to watch a complete film or see it performed at a theatre.

Contrary to some previous reviewers I'd say that Pacino showed great respect to the material and to the more famous British actors who have been involved in versions of this story down the years. He interviews Sir John Guilgud and Kenneth Brannagh to try and understand what the lines he is saying really mean. I have no doubt that if Sir Lawrence Olivier had still been alive Pacino would have wanted to interview him about his famous performance.

Pacino proves himself to be an engaging and intelligent presenter, and his Richard III, whilst undoubtably heavily influenced by Oliver is a striking performance. If like me you have never studied Shakespeare, and have little understanding of what is now frankly almost a foreign language then this film gives you the opportunity to be educated and entertained at the same time.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Feb 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Al Pacino's take on the Bard's Richard III is a refreshing one. For those for whom the language of Shakespeare seems alien and archaic it gently opens up the themes and politics of Richard III, and shows it to be a play remarkable for it's insight into the human condition and the politics of power.
Movie stars, pretentious hangers-on at New York arty parties, and scholary academics - all have their say. It's fun, witty and laid back, and leaves you with a renewed respect for Shakespeare's talent.
Pacino selflessy casts the stagelight on Shakespeare's genius, but he should take a bow for this witty and wise commentary.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By vicki on 2 Feb 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
reallly interesting to follow one man's dream to such a wonderful conclusion. the acting was superb and pacino came over so much more relaxed than i have seen him giving interviews etc.i wonder if this was a journey looking for himself through a lot of not very nice things that have been said about him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Elizabeth G Harris on 21 Oct 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A wonderful film to spark your interest in and to help understand Richard III. Al Pacino really brings it to life. It is more than 15 years since I saw it at the cinema but my enjoyment of the DVD was undiminished. A drama workshop for everyone who would like to understand Shakespeare and truly appreciate his work.
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